Free Research Paper On Benefits Of Breast Milk
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Breast milk is complete food for new born that contains nutrition required for growth, development, health and immunity of the infant. Breast milk is considered as a unique and unreplaceable source of food. Breast milk is essential not for the overall growth and development of new born but also for the mother. Infants are delicate and more exposed to different types of diseases. Therefore, it is important to provide them special care along with sufficient nourishment (Bertino et al., 2009). Different types of foods and infant formulas available in the market can only provide few or limited nutritional components available in breast milk. Hence, it is not possible duplicate breast milk and constantly changing nutrients available in breast milk. This research paper will explore different types of benefits of breast milk.
Research Objective: The primary objective of research paper is explore benefits of breast milk. The paper will evaluate different benefits offered by breast milk to the infants and also to the mother by examine research studies conducted on the subject.
Benefits of Breast Milk
Health Benefits offered by Breast Milk:
Landrigan et al. (2002) said that the breast milk contains balance amount of proteins, carbohydrate, and fats that are essential for development of infant. Breast milk facilitate the development of immune system and overall growth of the baby. Breast milk transfers antibodies from mother to her child that help child to increase resistance towards different types of illnesses. Allen & Hector (2005) in their article talk about different health benefits offered by the breast milk to infant. According to the author, breast milk protects infants from different types of infections occurred in respiratory tract, otitis media, necrotizing enterocolitis, and gastrointestinal infection during early age and beyond (Allen & Hector, 2005).
It is common belief among people that breast milk provided by mother suffering from asthma may transfer the disease to the child. However, research suggests that breast milk provided by asthmatic mother protect child from asthma, atopic decease and allergies during childhood (Allen & Hector, 2005). Mead (2008) in his article talks about the chemical composition of breast milk that develop immune or defense system of new born. Immunological compounds found in breast milk get transferred to new born that protect child through the life. Mead mentioned that composition of breast milk is best for the child and superior from formula milk. Concentration of cells, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and variety of components make breast milk a unique food.
Immuno-modulating factors present in breast milk such as prolactin components, anti-inflammatory compounds etc. work as direct agents and are protected by different enzyme activities and non-inflammatory activities. Compounds such as vitamins, peptides, amino acids, variety of cytokines & growth factors, prostaglandins, and enzyme inhibitors facilitate the development of child immune, respiratory and gastro-intestinal system. Breast milk also facilitates the development of body defense system due to presence of variety of components, lactoferrin and enzymatic activities. Breast milk provides defense factors to infant and increase responsiveness towards vaccines (Mead, 2008).
Guxens et al. (2011) mentioned that Child’s development get impacted by genetic inheritance as well as environmental experiences. Breastfeeding experience facilitate the development of brain which resulted in higher IQ of the child. The authors said that breast milk contain unique fatty acids that are responsible for the brain development of the child. These fatty acids are available in breast milk only. It is not possible to match human milk with other forms of milk such as cow’s milk and infant formulas due to unique compounds present in human milk. Breast milk help in development of brain irrespective the intelligence of mother (Guxens et al., 2011).
Reduce Risk of Obesity:
Arenz et al. (2004) in their research study analyzed the relationship between breast milk and child obesity. According to the authors, breast milk protect child from childhood obesity. Human milk not only improve digestive system of new born but also easy to digest, which make child active and reduce exposure towards obesity. Other infant formulas available in market are heavy to digest and not as effective as human milk in development of digestive system of the new born (Arenz, 2004). Some research studies claim the benefit of breast milk in reducing risk of obesity even during adulthood. Impact of breast milk in reducing the risk of obesity may seems small but it is consistent (Arenz, 2004; Allen & Hector, 2005).
Cost Effective and Convenient:
Brest milk offers variety of benefits that are not limited to the health of new born. Breast milk is superior and complete food that can be offered by all mothers to their child irrespective of their economic status and income. Pugh et al. (2002) in their research study mentioned that duration of breastfeeding is related with the income of family. If income of family is low, duration of breastfeeding will be higher. It is difficult for poor families to purchase formula milk on regular basis, hence, they prefer to stay with breast milk. It is also observed that lactating mothers have low chances of getting pregnant, which allow them to save the cost associated with contraceptives. Breast milk can be produced anytime and anywhere depending upon the availability of mother and need of child, which make breast milk very convenient.
Benefits for Mothers:
Breastfeeding provides various benefits to the mothers. Stuebe (2009) in his article mentioned that mothers who do not express breast milk are on higher risks of pre-menopausal breast cancer, diabetes, ovarian cancer, metabolism syndrome, retention of weight gained during pregnancy, and myocardial infarction. Lactation reduce ovulation, and make some changes in breast tissue: these changes significantly decrease the chances of breast as well as ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding requires around 500 kcal on daily basic to provide ample supply of milk to the child, which increases the metabolic burden of mother. Breast milk expression also helps in maintaining lipid metabolism, appropriate glucose levels along with blood pressure. Therefore, expression of breast milk protects mothers from different illnesses (Stuebe, 2009). Breastfeeding allows mothers to feed their child anytime without getting involved into preparation of formula milk and into long process of cleaning and sterilizing the feeding bottles. Working mothers can freeze their milk and provide it to child caretaker to feed the baby through the day when they are at work.
Findings of the research study show that breast milk is most superior and unreplaceable food for the new born. Breast milk offers wide range of health benefits to the child as it helps in development of immune system, respiratory system and gastro-intestinal system. Breast milk also protect child from other deceases such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, diabetes, obesity, otitis media, and other types of infections. Breast milk provides all desired nutrients to the child that are essential for neurodevelopment and overall development of the child. Expression of breast milk also offers variety of benefits to the mothers. Therefore, breastfeeding is essential for good health of both mother and child.
Allen, J., and Hector, D. (2005). Benefits of Breastfeeding. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 16(3-4), 42-46.
Arenz, S., Ruckerl, R., Koletzko, B., and Kries, R.V. (2004). Breast-feeding and childhood obesity—a systematic review. International Journal of Obesity, 28, 1247–1256.
Bertino, E., Giuliani, F., Occhi, L., Coscia, A., Tonetto, P., Marchino, F., and Fabris, C. (2009). Benefits of Donor Human Milk for Preterm Infants: Current Evidence. Early Human Development, 85 , S9-S10.
Guxens, M., Mendez, MA, Molto-Puigmarti, C., Julvez, J., Garcia-Esteban, R., Forns, J., Ferrer, M., Vrijheid, M., Lopez-Sabater, M.C., and Sunyer, J. (2011). Breastfeeding, Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Colostrum, and Infant Mental Development. Pediatrics, 128(4), e880-e889.
Landrigan, P.J., Sonawane, B., Mattison, D., McCally, M., and Garg, A. (2002). Chemical Contaminants in Breast Milk and Their Impacts on Children’s Health: An Overview. Environmental Health Perspectives, 110, A313- A315.
Mead, M. N. (2008). Contaminants in Human Milk: Weighing the Risks against the Benefits of Breastfeeding. Environ Health Perspect, 116(10), A 427-A 434.
Pugh, L.C., Milligan, R.A., Frick, K.D., Spatz, D., and Bronner, Y. (2002). Breastfeeding Duration, Costs, and Benefits of a Support Program for Low-Income Breastfeeding Women. Birth, 29(2), 95-100.
Stuebe, A. (2009). The Risks of Not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants. Reviews Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2(4), 222–231.
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